Barnet Council plan to have a huge rail yard on the land behind Lidl, opposite the Cricklewood Bus Depot, at 400 Edgware Road. Planning permission has been applied for.
The land is owned by National Rail, and the freight company DB Cargo has a 125-year lease, due to expire in 2121. Their ambition is to make Cricklewood one of just three rail freight super-hubs in London, according to evidence given to a House of Lords transport select committee.
Freight trains will bring aggregate and other building materials to the yard at night. This will be offloaded and moved to storage areas. During the day lorries will deliver it to building sites all over London. The spoil from building sites will also be brought in by lorry and taken away by train.
The site footprint is approximately four times the size of Donoghues, and the application refers to an average of 452, rising to 800 HGVs per day. The site would operate Monday-Friday 7am to 7pm and on Saturday 7am to 2pm.
Local residents have raised enough environmental objections for the planning committee to delay a decision on a smaller temporary operation on the site; but the council posted the application for the permanent site the very next morning.
The main worries are:
- volume of traffic in an already congested and highly polluted area. Barnet has designated the A5 from Staples Corner to Cricklewood Lane as a focus area in need of air quality improvement. This will make it worse!
- effect of more HGVs on narrow roads such as Cricklewood Lane and Walm Lane, side roads and bus routes
- proximity of dirty industry to a conservation area, schools, the bus depot, supermarket, new flats at Fellows Square, housing in Brent
- pollution from irritant dust from the aggregate (aggregate is sand, gravel, crushed stone and rubble from demolitions, and so forth)
- noise of the operation and operating hours
- history of poor enforcement when regulations are broken
- possible effect on houses of vibration from heavy trains and lorries (the nearest houses are 19th-century, many others in the area are also 100 years old or more)
- possible effect on local water table
- general blight on residential areas.
Click here for the planning application; its reference number is 17/5761/EIA. You can add your comments and objections online there, if you cannot access the portal, please email Chloe Tomson, Barnet’s planning officer, with your objections Chloe.Thomson@barnet.gov.uk. The full site name is “Cricklewood Railway Yard, the land at rear of 400 Edgware Road NW2 6ND”.
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